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Tamworth District Scouts Branch Out by Using Radio and the Web:
by on October 29, 2014
TAMWORTH District Scouts held a networking event last week reaching out to scout groups from across the globe. On Sunday, October 19, the group took part in a celebration to mark the bi-annual ‘Komunica8’ day – an event where scouts worldwide communicate through amateur radio over the internet. Flax Hill Primary Academy was the venue and more than 300 youngsters took part. Event organiser Steve Smith said: “Komunic8 was a massive success with hundreds of young people coming along to take part and to have lots of fun.” Communication-themed activities included reading the news, making a 999 call, creating films using clay models and sending secret messages using an enigma machine and Morse code to name just a few. Tamworth’s very own TCR-FM were also on hand to teach the scouts the basics of being a radio presenter. There were lots of games and tasks including climbing through lasers to get the secret code.

Troopers Plan 'Pumpkin Patrol' Along Thruway:
by on October 28, 2014
New York State Police and citizen volunteers are planning their 38th annual "Pumpkin Patrol" to ward off Halloween pranks and protect motorists along the Thruway on October 30 and 31. Patrols will consist of Troop T Troopers as well as local citizen band radio clubs and amateur radio operators.

Earth is Being Blasted by Solar Flares, Largest Active Region Since 1990:
by on October 28, 2014
The sun’s currently active solar flare region -- 2192 -- is blasting away at us and causing strong radio blackouts in hotspots across the planet. This is the largest active solar flare region since November 1990, and even that large event didn’t produce X-class flares causing R3-R5 (strongest) radio blackouts. This current active region has shot four of those big suckers at us in four days and the 6th since the region went hot on the 19th.

Arduino for Ham Radio Webcast Oct 30:
by tom Medlin (W5KUB) on October 28, 2014
Please join us for a special webcast featuring our special guest, Glen Popiel, KW5GP, author of the newly released ARRL publication, Arduino for Ham Radio. This event will be webcast from W5KUB’s personal ham shack on Thursday, October 30th at 8:00 PM CT (0100 UTC). Arduino devices are powerful and inexpensive microcontrollers, and they are an easy way for ham radio operators, students, and professionals to create devices that interact with their environment using sensors and actuators. Glen will discuss Arduino and its many applications. Glen will show and demonstrate projects from his book.

QSO Today -- Ep 14 -- Steve Johnston WD8DA:
by Eric Guth (WA6IGR) on October 28, 2014
You can still build a beautiful tuna can transmitter, especially if it uses vacuum tubes instead of solid state components. Join Eric, 4Z1UG, in his QSO Today with Steve Johnston, WD8DAS, where they discuss Steve’s ham radio journey that includes experimentation in the 630 meter band, restoration of Chinese military radio gear, and the love of amateur radio.

15-Year-Old Helps Save the Day:
by on October 27, 2014
For a week, Tom K. Jose kept his studies aside, travelled to a cyclone-hit city and used his Ham radio skills to contribute to disaster management. When Hudhud swept through Visakhapatnam disrupting its communication network and a team of amateur radio (Ham) operators from the city were sought, the 15-year-old student of Little Flower Junior College, Uppal, volunteered for the task. With his call sign, VU3TMO, Tom was stationed in the control room set up at Visakhapatnam Police Commissionerate and spent long hours collecting messages from other team members spread over the cyclone affected areas and passed them on to the administration for relief measures. The intermediate first year student, who got his Ham licence at the age of 13, along with colleagues, operated under adverse conditions, often skipping meals and spending long hours before the radio, waiting for it to crackle with messages. “For seven days, I was at the Visakhapatnam Police Commissionerate and one day at the District Collector’s office at Srikakulam and made anywhere up to 500 contacts,” says Tom. One contact talked about trees falling at a Jain temple in Bhimli and resulting in precarious conditions. The young Ham immediately passed on the information to senior officials, who in turn directed their field personnel, and the situation was attended to. Another was a contact from Bangalore who was desperately trying to locate his brother and sister in the Hudhud affected area. “We operated without checking the watch or caring whether it was day or night. We had to just sit in front of the radio and wait for a contact,” he says.

My Homemade Radio Station:
by on October 27, 2014
When I was in the seventh grade, my cousin, Lester Ezzell, who was an electrical engineer working in Washington, D.C., told me about a radio transmitter he had built when he was a young man living in Fayetteville on Raeford Lane, which is now known as Union Street. I was so interested in what Lester told me about his little radio transmitter that I wanted to build one for myself, so I could do as he had done and broadcast music and news to my neighbors in the downtown section where I lived on Rowan Street near Saint James Square. After I wrote many letters asking my cousin to tell me how he built his radio station, he finally mailed me a schematic diagram of his one-tube transmitter. When I opened the letter containing the diagram, I had mixed emotions. I was thrilled that he had finally sent me the plans for his transmitter, but I was also quite confused, because I had never seen a schematic diagram, and I did not have the slightest idea how to read his strange-looking instructions. When I took the parts and the diagram home, I spent many hours winding coils on an oyster box and then assembling the parts I had purchased onto a cigar box. To my surprise and joy, when I completed the transmitter and turned it on, it worked perfectly, and I could hear myself talking over the console radio across the hall in our living room. As a direct result of building my own transmitter, I later became a ham radio station operator and enjoyed talking to people all over the world on a much more powerful short-wave transmitter.

Luxembourg and China Team Up on Private Mission to the Moon:
by on October 27, 2014
Cold War competition between superpowers dominated the first decades of space travel and exploration. Individual governments took the lead, bankrolling most of the process in the name of competition and nationalism. Ultimately international cooperation and collaboration took root, and the landscape is already very different. The present and future of space exploration is more collaborative, more international, and involves both space agencies and private companies. One such project is the combination Chang’e 5-T1 and Manfred Memorial Moon Mission (4M), which launched together last Thursday. Both projects are testbeds for ideas: Chang’e 5-T1 is a prototype for a robotic probe intended to return samples from the Moon to Earth, while 4M is a simple communications experiment encouraging amateur participation. But the intriguing bit is that 4M is a project of the private Luxembourg-based company LuxSpace, while Chang’e 5-T1 is a Chinese project, and the whole endeavor was launched on a Chinese rocket. Private companies have been involved with spaceflight from very early days, albeit largely as contractors. Today, many companies are jostling to take on many roles: servicing the International Space Station, building the next generation of rockets, and designing spacecraft to carry human passengers. These companies include SpaceX, Orbital Sciences, Sierra Nevada Space Systems, and more. These mostly focus on propulsion and transport, but 4M is a different concept. It is riding as an auxiliary payload in the Chang’e 5-T1 mission, so all the literal heavy lifting is done by the Chinese Long March rocket. Instead, the focus is on probe design and communications technology, as well as low cost. The mission itself is simply a small computer powered by solar cells, with an antenna transmitting at 145.980 MHz. That frequency is within the range used by amateur radio operators, so anyone can listen in. 4M’s ham radio handle is JT65B, and you can join in using the freely available Weak Signal Communication Software package.

W.Va. Museum Displays Radio, Technology History:
by on October 26, 2014
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- Touring the Museum of Radio and Technology is like stepping back in time to the beginning of radio, television, and computers. It opened in 1991 in the old Harveytown Elementary School, 1640 Florence Ave., on Huntington's West End and is touted as the largest radio museum in the nation and attracts visitors from throughout the world. However, many locals are unaware of the rooms filled with history and treasures. "We are trying to create a time capsule," said curator Geoff Bourne, who is aware of the historical significance of the collection as well as how much of it works.

Thruway Pumpkin Patrol Gears Up for Halloween Pranks:
by on October 25, 2014
State Police are gearing up with the 38th annual Pumpkin Patrol to prevent Halloween pranks that could harm drivers along the State Thruway. Troop T officers along with community volunteers will monitor overpasses Oct. 30 and 31, police said. More than 300 volunteers from 15 organizations will participate, including local citizen band radio clubs and amateur radio operators.

Ham Radio Enthusiasts Staying On the Air:
by on October 25, 2014
A group of dedicated ham radio enthusiasts are keeping the old-fashioned hobby alive on the Gold Coast. Towering antennas sprout from the Gold Coast Amateur Radio Society's (GCARS) purpose-built shack in the industrial area of Molendinar. The building houses the group's eclectic collection of modern and revamped transmitters and receivers. GCCARS president George George says the appeal of amateur radio is in the skill. "You can pick up a telephone and dial anybody in the States, England, anywhere," he said. "But to turn a radio on, tune in your antenna and for them to be tuned in at the same time and you're fighting all the elements... this is what the hobby's all about."

Solar Flare Knocks Out Some Radio Temporarily:
by on October 25, 2014
Federal forecasters say a brief but strong solar flare Wednesday morning temporarily blacked out a few radio communication systems before weakening. Space Weather Prediction Center forecaster Christopher Balch said it affected radio that uses part of the upper atmosphere. That includes some radar and plane systems, but not all, and amateur radio.

Propagation Forecast Bulletin #43 de K7RA:
by W1AW Bulletin via the ARRL on October 24, 2014
Solar activity is making a healthy comeback, just in time for the SSB weekend of the CQ World Wide DX Contest. The contest begins tonight at 0000 UTC and ends Sunday October 26 at 23:59:59 UTC. The contest is always held on the last full weekend of October, while the CW contest is the last full weekend in November.

Boy Scouts Get Their Hands on 'Ham' Radio in Cheltenham:
by on October 24, 2014
Cadewryn Fletcher, 11, a Boy Scout from Upper Marlboro said he was nervous to step up to the mic Saturday night and talk to a stranger over amateur radio. But with encouragement from his mother and brother, Cadewryn sat at a picnic table with amateur radio operator Kenneth Greenhouse, 68, of Upper Marlboro and chatted about his favorite color with a Boy Scout in Saskatchewan, Canada. “I think it’s awesome,” said Cadewryn’s mother, Renea Fletcher, 47, “I guess for so many years you tell them, ‘Don’t talk to strangers,’ and now it’s time to talk to strangers.” Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts from Prince George’s County gathered at the American Legion Southern Maryland District Youth Camp in Cheltenham on Oct. 18 for the 57th annual Jamboree-on-the-Air, an amateur radio event that connected scouts all over the world. Amateur radio, also known as “ham” radio, started out as an experimental communication technology that is now used primarily for emergency situations, said Kenny Courtney, 74, of Clinton, a member of the American Legion Post 275 Amateur Radio Team in Glenarden.

Sun Unleashes Powerful X-Class Solar Flare:
by on October 24, 2014
A monster solar flare erupted early Sunday (Oct. 19) from a huge sunspot that may just be getting warmed up. The sun fired off an X-class solar flare -- the most powerful type -- that peaked at 1:01 a.m. EDT (5:01 GMT) Sunday. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) spacecraft captured photos and video of the intense sun storm, which researchers classified as an X1.1 flare. The flare erupted from a sunspot called AR (Active Region) 2192, which has since grown to become 78,000 miles (125,000 kilometers) wide, according to -- almost as big as the planet Jupiter.

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Clinton Herbert (AB7RG) Please submit any Amateur Radio related news or stories that you would like to see, here on If you need any help, we are glad to assist you with writing your article based on the information you supply. If there are any problems please let me know. (This includes any inappropriate posts on a topic, as I cannot monitor every topic.) Sincerely 73 de Clinton Herbert, AB7RG